The latest exchange on the fate of Omar Khadr, from Monday’s QP.

Mrs. Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the American prosecution lawyer at Guantanamo prison has confirmed that the detainees, including Omar Khadr, have been subjected to severe abuse. He stated that, no matter what he had done, this poor person has been mistreated. How can the government justify its refusal to repatriate young Khadr given the testimony that is being gathered about the reality of torture at Guantanamo?

Mr. Deepak Obhrai (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, on many occasions I have repeated that Mr. Khadr faces very serious charges in the United States. Our position has not changed. We are aware that the trial of all cases before the military commission was halted in Guantanamo Bay on January 26, and that the U.S. administration is reviewing all the cases. We will wait for whatever results the U.S. administration comes out with.

Mrs. Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, BQ): Mr. Speaker, once again, the government is hiding behind a supposed process that would prevent them from demanding that Khadr be repatriated. Yet other countries have repatriated their citizens. If Canada does not repatriate Omar Khadr, does this mean that the problem does not come from the process, but rather from the government’s lack of political will?

Mr. Deepak Obhrai (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as I have said on many occasions in the House, Mr. Omar Khadr faces serious charges including murder, attempted murder as well as the charge of murder of a medic. We continue to closely monitor the situation, including the work of the American committee formed to study the fate of the Guantanamo detainees, including Mr. Khadr. Our position has not changed.



  1. It’s going to be bad when they finally fold. I don’t think they’re winning any votes by treating Khadr as a hot potato. He’s coming home, within the year, and Harper will have to wear it.

    • Unless he doesn’t.

      Seriously, you probably don’t want to put too much faith in Obama carrying through on his promise to close Guantanamo entirely.

      • Right!
        Obama isn’t going to follow through on the order he has already signed because it might embarrass Canada – or at least that bit of it that deserves to be embarrassed!

        • He might decide that it’s in the national security interest not to, notwithstanding statements of a week or six months ago – just like he’s done by continuing a number of Bush policies, and backtracking on other campaign promises. It might happen, and it might not, but assuming that it must happen in the future purely because Obama said so is probably a little naïve.

          • avr it actually seems more that, his maintenance of other policies actually facilitates, closing Gitmo as a more prolific act.

          • If, and I do mean ‘If’ he planed on leaving it open, do you really think one of the few individuals that he would leave imprisoned there would be the one that makes him break international laws on child soldier. The one, who they seemingly cant prove ‘actually’ did anything. The one they tortured. Thats the one they are going to leave locked up in GITMO after they told their country and the world that they were closing the place down.

            Im sorry your theory doesn’t hold water! Ha! Neither do the Americans anymore, it seems water boarding is now out of bounds as far as they are concerned.

            Look at that, their country is gaining a conscience.

          • Douglass
            Regaining! I know it’s easy to forget that there was a time before W ; but there was.

  2. SH approves of abuse and torture? – Overtly no! Personally -very unlikely!
    However actions do speak louder than words – or in this case lack of action and weasel words!

    ” Does this govt approve of abuse and torture in the case of O. Khadr”?
    This might have been a good follow up question from the Hon Member of the House.

    • Yeah. That’s it. “Has the honourable member opposite stopped beating his wife?”

      • My favourite: “Which is it? Are you lying to Canadians or are you just incompetent.?”

        • CR
          Actually the question, while being a triffle naive, is a logical response to the govts non answer to the members first question. But what the hell, let’s not ask any questions at all. Since answering them is clearly such a chore.

        • “Does the government agree with the former GITMO prosecutor that Omar Khadr was abused while in American custody?”

          That would be legit, no?

      • Good come back! And the next question is…???

      • True enough, but surely the question “Does the government agree with the former GITMO prosecutor that Omar Khadr was abused while in American custody?” would be a legitimate question, no?

        (I believe the prosecutor in question should be called “former”… I believe the military prosecutor they’re referring to quit ’cause his conscience got to him)

        • Sorry LKO my shot was aimed rather inaccurately at avr. Yr follow up Q was certainly more apt then mine. I fear that it will receive the same…er…answer!

          • No need to apologize, actually, my comment was for avr too, it’s just that at a certain level the nesting stops, and it gets hard to tell who’s responding to whom!

  3. I have faith in Prime Minister Harper changing his position (he usually comes around) on Omar Khadr… he’s just waiting for Obama’s decision, which should cover him politically, one would think. That’s leadership.

    • The only thing Harper ever leads with is the next excuse for why he can’t lead in the first place!

    • I’m not sure Obama’s decision will give the Tories much cover if Obama’s decision is to let Khadr go.

      If the U.S. government eventually decides that Omar Khadr’s been abused, and should be set free, does the question not become why our government sat back while the U.S. government was abusing one of our citizens? I can’t imagine the argument “we had to wait for the Americans themseleves to realize they were being abusive and flaunting due process and the rule of law before we acted” would be a great argument.

      If the Obama administration’s conclusion is “we never should have let this happen”, won’t the question here become “Why did the Canadian government let this happen?”?

      If the Americans decide they were wrong to keep him, are we not equally wrong for not asking for him back?

      • Yes! And the supreme court has already pretty much ruled so!

        • Yes. I dont see how the American change of heart would at all ‘cover’ Harper’s willful disregard for the rule of law.

          oh KC, you were right, ‘regaining’. Sometime I wish there was an edit button! As a person whose family is full of a bunch of Americans, I do too remember that great country that once was.

  4. Why is the NDP so quiet about Khadr?

  5. While he did have some medical training, the US soldier killed was performing combat, not medic, duties, and therefore was in no way identified as a medic. Obhrai should know that even the most pro-Gitmo US media have stopped spreading that falsehood.

    The Conservative Party will never recover from this patently ridiculous and dishonest (and ongoing) display. It proves they are either frighteningly ignorant or grossly incompetent…probably a bit of both.

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